Simplification of the visa requirements of Russian and Turkish visitors to Bulgaria introduced in February this year look set to significantly boost Bulgaria’s tourist sector, an important economic driver for the country.
Bulgaria’s tourism minister Nikolina Angelkova recently reported 9% growth in tourism over an extremely successful winter season that saw an additional 80,000 visitors to its alpine resorts, boosting revenue a further €17.5m.
She said that the number of Turkish visitors had increased by almost 30% as a result of the simplification of visa requirements while German tourists increased 17%, Austrian 7% and visitors from Israel by more than 20%.
The visa application process was streamlined to try and improve visitor numbers from Russia and Ukraine in attempts to improve relations with the country after Bulgaria’s support for EU sanctions and its cancellation of major Russian energy projects.
More visitors are expected
Angelkova commented on the upcoming summer season arguing that the preliminary forecast was optimistic except for the Russian and Ukrainian market, expected to decline by around 30% this year.
However, more visitors are expected from other nations that could limit the shortfall for the coming summer season. Arrivals from Germany are expected to increase by around 5%, Israel 10%, France 4.5%, Lithuania, Latvia and Moldova 40% and Poland, Czech Republic and Belarus by 5.10%.
The tourism minister suggested that the number of tourists arriving from UK and Romania was expected to remain unchanged, while visitors from Greece – one of Bulgaria’s most important markets – are set to increase by around 10%.
Bulgaria’s government are also making headway to improve the country’s tourism infrastructure and have been developing cultural and historical routes together with promotional material and maps that are available imminently.
Bulgaria is a fantastic country for property investment because of its place at the base of a growth curve in its tourist markets. Bulgarian property prices remain low compared with pre-crisis levels there are some great yield opportunities in resort areas, both beach and ski. This is a country that has everything on offer to the discerning traveller and although relatively under-developed, the outlook is rather bright.
Source:: Property show rooms